Why do health & safety consultants need insurance?
Accusations of wrong advice or recommendations
Providing accurate and practical advice to your clients is at the core of your services. If your client accuses you of flawed or incomplete guidance, you may face an injury or property damage claim.
Blame for non-compliance with regulations
Clients often hire health and safety consultants to ensure their business adheres to relevant regulations. If your client’s business becomes subject to investigation or a fine, you may be blamed for failing to identify compliance gaps and liable for the resulting damages.
A compensation claim following an accident at a workplace may be placed at your feet. That is if your client decides you have provided incorrect instructions and therefore failed to communicate hazards adequately.
Health and safety consultants often carry out inspections. If you open a cupboard door to check the content, expensive equipment may fall out, or someone might hit their head on the corner. You may be blamed and asked to pay for damage. A refusal could land you with a legal demand.
Professional indemnity insurance for health & safety consultants
As a health and safety consultant, it's important to have professional indemnity insurance to protect against claims of negligence or inadequate advice that could lead to financial losses for your clients.
This type of insurance is also referred to as professional indemnity liability or errors and omissions insurance. Essentially, it provides legal defence if a client accuses you of failing to provide adequate safety measures in the workplace or resulting in fines due to non-compliance.
Defence costs to rebuff an accusation can quickly run into thousands of pounds. Without insurance, this could be life-changing.
What does health & safety consultant professional indemnity insurance cover?
Professional indemnity insurance protects health & safety consultants from claims or accusations of wrongdoing from their professional advice or work product.
- Failing your duty of care
- Making a mistake
- Acting negligently
- Giving the wrong advice or recommendation
- A fine that your client was issued for failing their obligations may land at your feet if they believe your advice or lack of was the cause.
- An injury could be deemed your fault if your client believes your advice failed to prevent it. You may be sued for compensation.
What professional indemnity limit do health & safety consultants need?
When choosing a professional indemnity limit, it's important to consider a few key factors. These include whether your contract specifies a liability limit, such as £1,000,000, and the total value of your client contracts in recent years. You should also consider potential costs if your work results in damages, who the end consumer of your work will be, and the potential costs to your client if you cannot deliver on time.
Switching your professional indemnity insurance
In the UK, cancelling a professional indemnity policy means you cannot make claims against it.
Hence, when changing your health & safety consultant insurance provider, ensure that your new policy includes coverage for your previous work, known as "retroactive cover".
Should I keep professional indemnity insurance if I take a break from health & safety consulting?
It’s smart to keep your professional indemnity if you retire or take a break from health & safety consulting. Claims against professional misconduct can surface months or years after you delivered the work.
If a past client sues you for damages and you have cancelled your professional indemnity, you will not be covered.
How long you keep your cover in place is up to you; consider the type of work you did and the likelihood that a client might bring a claim against you.
Public liability insurance for health & safety consultants
Public liability insurance shields health & safety consultants from claims of injuries or property damage.
As a health and safety consultant, you will need to visit work sites to conduct inspections, assessments, and interviews with staff. While you may not be performing any manual work, there is still a risk of accidental damage to third-party property or injury to members of the public.
Even experienced consultants can make mistakes that result in harm or damage, such as accusations of causing injury or property damage. In these situations, public liability insurance can provide protection by covering medical expenses, property damage costs, and legal fees, if necessary.
What does health & safety consultant public liability insurance cover?
Public liability insurance is valuable when faced with injury claims and compensation demands.
- accidental injury or death
- accidental property damage
- During a site inspection, a lot can happen. Trips, falls or damages to expensive equipment. You could be blamed and asked to pay the costs. A refusal could result in a legal demand.
- Even having clients coming to your place of work carries some risks. Injury claims are not unheard of, and even if the reasons are somewhat innocuous, you’ll still need to defend yourself.
Other insurance health & safety consultants buy
As a health and safety consultant, evaluating your circumstances and determining if additional insurance policies are necessary is important. Are you prepared to handle a commercial dispute if one were to arise? How would negative publicity affect your business? Do you have the financial capability to replace any lost, stolen, or damaged technology? Furthermore, how would you manage your business expenses if you became ill?
Commercial legal expenses
Most commercial legal expenses insurance will protect health & safety consultants against various tax and legal issues they may encounter due to their profession, which are not covered by professional indemnity or public liability.
At Suited, we combined £100,000 of commercial legal expenses insurance with helplines and other tools to better assist health & safety consultants in dealing with these issues. We call this Business Legal Protect, and it’s part of your subscription.
Business Legal Protect offers qualified advice and assistance with:
- Legal and tax matters concerning your business
- Criminal prosecution
- Unpaid invoices (over £200)
- HMRC investigates your tax affairs
- You are facing an investigation from a professional body
- You need legal help chasing a significant unpaid invoice
- You’re being taken to court for breach of contract
Electronic business equipment insurance
In today's world, health and safety consultants heavily rely on electronic equipment to provide their services. If your business depends on electronic equipment, consider buying electronic business equipment insurance to protect your assets.
Income protection insurance
Moreover, income protection insurance is a type of coverage that ensures your earnings remain protected in case you are unable to work due to illness. It is worth considering to ensure financial security during unforeseen circumstances.
Shopping for health & safety consultant insurance
When considering health & safety consultant insurance, consider the following:
Cheap health & safety consultant insurance
When seeking insurance options for your business as a health and safety consultant, it's essential to consider several factors beyond the cost. You want to select a dependable provider. Suited offers multiple communication channels to ensure you feel confident about your coverage.
The reputation of the insurer is important
Insurance is critical during times of need, so it's crucial to assess the payout reputation of your insurer. Suited partners with financially stable insurers who have an A+ rating.
Many providers charge fees to amend or cancel
Be mindful that some insurers may present low initial prices, but they may add additional charges for monthly payments, policy amendments, or cancellations. At Suited, we do not include any extra fees; you can cancel at any time without further costs.
Some policy wordings are restrictive or have a high excess
Additionally, some providers may propose lower prices but with less comprehensive coverage when comparing coverage options. Suited's professional indemnity and public liability policies have a £0 excess.